Kavli Foundation Lecture Series
The Kavli Foundation Lecture Series* promotes groundbreaking discovery and public understanding of the world’s mounting challenges and how chemistry can provide solutions.
The American Chemical Society gratefully acknowledges The Kavli Foundation’s generous support for The Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture and The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture.
* Supported by The Kavli Foundation
The Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture
Monday, August 17, 2015, 5:30 - 6:30 P.M.
BCEC, Ballroom West
Dr. George Whitesides, Harvard University
Problems, Puzzles, and Inevitabilities in Research
The potential of chemistry to help in solving societal problems has probably never been greater. Its enthusiasm for doing so is substantially less. How might it expand its ambitions, and change its structure, to broaden its role in attacking these large-scale problems?
The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture
Monday, August 17, 2015, 4:00 - 5:00 P.M.
BCEC, Ballroom West
Dr. William Dichtel, Cornell University
The Spectacular Properties of Porous Polymers
Polymers with many small pores exhibit enormous surfaces areas that enable us to store gaseous fuels, rapidly transport ions, immobilize catalysts and modify their selectivity, detect trace substances, and remove contaminants from liquid or gas streams. Several strategies to prepare organic materials with nanometer-size pores have proven successful. Polymers with uniform pores ranging in size from 1-5 nm are derived from monomers that organize into two or three-dimensional grids known as covalent organic frameworks (COFs). COFs were first made as insoluble powders, a form that makes it difficult to fully study their properties or make electrical contact. We developed simple and straightforward methods to grow COFs as thin films on working electrodes, which led to the first examples capable of storing and releasing electrical charge. For this application, the precise, layered arrangement of building blocks and continuous pores provided by the COF architecture contribute to their performance. An alternative strategy to introduce nanometer-size voids into polymer networks is to utilize monomers that pack inefficiently. This approach has afforded polymers derived from renewable feedstocks that rapidly remove organic pollutants from water as well as conjugated systems that detect explosives present at parts-per-trillion levels. Collectively, these examples demonstrate the value of controlling both the structure and the empty space of polymer networks.